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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the second part to creating this, the second of my book cover designs for George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, we are going to use Illustrator to create this simple, symbolic illustration that is behind our type. So currently we're looking at the finished version in InDesign and I'm now going to switch over to Illustrator. Frankly, we could do it in InDesign, but there is one reason why I want to do in Illustrator, and that's because having created these shapes, we can apply some simple effects to them just to give them a bit of texture.
I'm thinking film grain specifically, which you cannot do in InDesign. So Illustrator has the edge in that respect. Otherwise the tools are essentially the same. So I'm going to start out by opening up the template that we created in the previous movie. Making sure that I'm on the artwork layer, with my Pen tool, and I'm coming outside of the page area to the bleed. And I'm just going to create a craggy ridge simply by clicking with the Pen tool.
And getting back to the point where I started, so I create a closed path. Now, at the moment that closed path has a white fill on a black stroke, so let's remove the stroke. And we're going to go to the fill and now we're going to apply a gradient fill to this. I'm going to tear off my Gradient panel. And start out by applying just the standard black-and-white gradient to this. I'm going to change the color of the gradient by just dragging colors from the Swatches panel to the color stops at the bottom of the gradient bar.
And I'm going to use this color. I'm going to have that be the start and the end. And then I'm going to drag white between the two. Now, I want to change the direction of the gradient. I could do it numerically here, but easier than that is to use the Gradient tool. I'll just drag where you want the gradient to go, and I think I want to grab something... I'm not sure.
You know you can just swipe over it multiple times. I think like that with a bit less of the whites. I'll adjust the diamonds on the top of the gradient bar too, all to have one color transition into another. Now, I'm going to draw a simple rectangle behind that and this is going to my sky. Into my sky I want another kind of gradient that's going to start out with a sort of golden yellow, and then transition to some sort of pink.
And finally, end up with the blue. Now, that's the wrong way around, so I'm going to change the angle. I'll do it numerically this time. And then I need to substantially, reduce the opacity of that. So I am going to come to my Transparency panel and bring that way down. And that pink really is a little bit too pink.
So I think I need to replace that color. So I'm going to come to my Color panel and makes a not quite so intense pink, which I'll then drag to my Swatches panel. So that I can reuse it. I managed to apply to the end of the gradient, which is not I wanted to do. So I'll just fix that. And that's not looking more like what I'm after.
And we'll turn off the guides. I see here that I have a solid line, which I definitely don't want, so what I need to do is I need to send this rectangle behind my ridge, and I can do that using object and Arrange > Send to Back or I can use the Layers panel for this. Just make sure that's behind there and that solves that problem. Now, I want to select the ridge and I'm going to apply just a few changes to it.
Firstly, I'd like to give it a little bit of texture, and to do that I'm going to come to the Effect panel and choose Artistic > Film Grain. Now, I'm not sure how well you'll see this on the monitor, but when this is printed it's going to give it a bit of oomph! So that everything is not quite so flat, but it's going to be very subtle. And I just want to grain of about 1, an intensity of 1, so you may need to dial these numbers down a bit from what you're starting with.
In addition to that, I'd also like to apply an inner glow. So I'm going to go back to the Effect menu and choose Inner Glow and then turn on Preview. And we can see now that just helps to bring out the definition at the top of the ridge. And we want it to be a little bit more on that. Maybe we do, but not quite as much as that.
So let me dial it down to about 14. The next element that we want to include is the flag. And for this, rather than use simple shapes, which I think that will end up looking too clean, I wanted to use the Blob Brush for a more freeform sort of look to it. So I'm going to switch to using the Wacom tablet and zooming in on the area where I want to draw the flag, I'll choose the Blob Brush.
So I'm going to choose the color, and I'm going to make sure that I have nothing selected, so that I don't add to an already drawn shape, but rather create a new one. And then draw myself in a very simplistic, almost childlike flag like so. Now that needs to get sent behind the shape of the ridge, so I'm just going to drag that down in my layers.
And there I think we have that background shape. In doing that I inadvertently applied the Film Grain and the Inner Glow, the effects that I'd applied to the previous shape to, the shape I just drew. So I'm going to select the flag and I'm going to take those two effects off, although I quite like the effect of the inner glow, but it's a little bit too much. So I'm going to edit the amount that is applied just to the flag, and I'm doing this through the Appearance panel.
And we're good to go. So I'm going to save this and call it trench. Then come back to InDesign, and in the beginning version of this particular design, typeeffects_begin, making sure I have the background Layer selected, I'll choose File and Place. And I'm going to place that image right there.
And then I will lock the background layer, so that we are now ready to go on and create the type in the next movie.
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